By Emily Belcher for The Work at Home Woman
Working from home has a very popular stereotype that envisions someone resting in a hammock (margarita close-by of course) and listening to the sound of crashing waves as they type away on their laptop. We all wish that was the reality of working from home and hopefully, one day it will be. But for most of us, working from home is a lot harder than we had originally thought it would be.
Here are some common work-at-home struggles and how to fix them.
One of the hardest things for me to adjust to while working from home were environmental stressors, AKA “the children”. My kids are the largest leading factor into my work-at-home decision but also the largest reason that I have wanted to go back to working outside of the home time after time. Working at home with little children is no easy feat. But it’s also not impossible.
Ask for help. Whether you have to pay someone to look after your little ones so that you can get some work done, it will make all the difference. Your productivity will skyrocket, and your children will benefit also.
Separating “work life” from “home life” can be extremely tricky, even without kids. Everyone needs a break so make sure that you can mentally and physically remove yourself from your work duties.
Problem: Job Instability
Depending on what type of job you are doing from home, money flow may be unstable. Many work-at-home positions lack a very important key quality that most traditional jobs outside of the home can provide: job security.
Personally, many of my past positions from home were as an independent contractor, which meant that there is no guarantee that I will have a job tomorrow. Financially, it’s been very risky and scary. It’s definitely one thing that I have had to learn the hard way and has made me ask myself if I was going to be able to make working from home work out.
Always have a backup plan. One of the ways that I have managed to stay afloat is by not putting all of my eggs in one basket. It’s the biggest and hardest lesson that I have learned.
Now, I have several different avenues of money flowing in, which helps me during times when one of my jobs abruptly ends or to help pick up the slack of something that isn’t raking in as much money as it normally does.
What if YOU are the “thing” that is sabotaging your work-at-home career dream? Maybe you realize that you actually aren’t as organized, self-disciplined, or self-motivated as you once thought. You never realize how important a supervisors’ job really is until you no longer have one.
The only way to fix the problems that you have with getting work done is to change you. There are many different ideas to “fix” the problems that are creating your work-at-home chaos. If you lack self-discipline, try putting yourself on a strict schedule. A simple daily planner could be one of the cheapest, yet most beneficial keys to creating self-discipline and help you succeed at working from home.
It’s really no surprise to hear that working at home can become very lonely. Even the most introverted of folks, like myself, can tend to miss a little human interaction. Most “work at homers” don’t even require the use of their phones. In fact, I do 100% of my communication via email.
Utilize social media. I know, I know. Social media isn’t the same as interpersonal communication. However, it can help jerk you back into reality and ease the pit of loneliness that is resting inside. Social media can be a life-saver for those who cannot commute or for those who do not have easy access to society for whatever reason.
Another solution is to create noise. As I write this, I have the television on in another room. Sometimes, a quiet house is needed. Other times, a quiet house is a reminder that I am here, completely alone. It can become very lonely and honestly, a little creepy.
How do you conquer common work-at-home challenges? We’d love to hear your work-at-home solutions!